Day of Reckoning

Chapter 10

Monday – 7-21-14  – God hide me under the feathers of your large wings – protect me and your followers from the evil in this world.       

8:15 a.m. A friend called telling me that the Ukrainian army would be in Dzerzhinsk today, and that I needed to prepare to ‘go under’ if needed, as they would be hitting all of Dzerzhinsk.   I thanked him, and though much was already packed, I got dressed, washed my face and hands, prepared breakfast, and cleaned everything that needed cleaning, flushing toilets, dishes, since we would most like lose power and who knows when that would be restored, I was told they were going to turn off the water to the city and gas, in fear of gas explosions (smart), so I had everything prepared for the cellar, food, water, clothing, the house was locked down, as was the children’s center…I could hear machine guns and bombs in the not so far distance,  it was so scary.  The unpredictability of it all, is what is scary. Just don’t know ‘where’ they are aiming. There was no one to call, my family was asleep in the U.S., I didn’t want to scare them, there was nothing they could do for me, but pray, and be terrified and I didn’t want to put that burden on them.  I prayed, and prayed some more…and prayed some more.  God knows the future, and I must rest in Him, knowing that He is with me.  Being alone was not my desire.  Being alone in a war was DEFINITELY not my desire.

9:30 a.m. The gunfire is so loud and seems to be getting closer, though I don’t visibly see anything, just hear the noises of war.   There is whistling noises for rockets, and constant machine guns.   I ran over to the center to look out the top window of the center, as I can see all the way to the city center (1.5 mile),  from the 2nd story windows…  There is heavy black smoke coming from the downtown area of Dz..  Also appears as though there is some smoke near our only local hospital, Lenin Hospital.  Not a lot, but some.  The noise is louder from up there.   I did some filming, if I die, at least someone will know what I have lived through.  No one is on the streets, a few neighbors went in the yards to look towards the town center, but I think I have the best view from the 2nd story window.

9:45 a.m…. oh my goodness, a HUGE BOOM…I lose internet….they probably hit the electric plant down town but I can’t see.  The house just shook, and the noise is incredibly loud.

10:30 a.m.   Lost all power. Another huge boom and lots of black smoke coming from the down town area…All the shooting seems to be pointed in the downtown area, just 1.5 miles from me, but I can see it all from the center window. 

11:15 a.m.  planes are flying over head; this is all new to me, but I guess this is what an air strike is, …those are not pleasant…very loud, and starts with a big bang,  then a whistling noise for about 6 sec. then it impacts their target, BOOM.   Over and over,  I can hear the planes overhead, and then they come in for a hit on the target.  It is really scary.

Walking back from the center to the house, I could hear the airplanes over head, so I stopped in the yard to film the air strike, I knew they would be shooting towards town.  I looked up, and could see the plane fly in, turn sharply like 180, and then shoot towards the center of town, I could actually see them firing…it was interesting though I don’t like war, but it was interesting to see this.   I ran back inside.  I wonder how long this will continue, and I constantly talk and pray, since I’m alone, I just talk out loud to God constantly, thanking Him for His love and protection…now I pray for Pastor Sasha and Marina, Valia, Tonya, the many disabled people who have no ability to take appropriate shelter and all my friends living in the center of town…it is all so scary for them, as they are right in the middle of the immediate shelling. 

1:30 p.m.– still shelling, this has been going on for hours, and is waring on me, must be fierce fighting…I can hear gunfire, and small arms being fired.  Oh, I so hope that UA army can ‘take’ these guys…I’m so tired of living like this.   I try to call a few people that live in the downtown, but there are no connections or service at all….

4:00 p.m. –  shelling has finally slowed down, and I’m not even going to the center, children should know we are NOT open…goodness.  They need to stay off the streets, at all cost.   I have decided to try to use my modem to get an internet connection.    I bought this external modem years ago, when there was no internet in the area.  It was useful at one time, and so I kept it thinking that maybe one day I may need.  So I plugged it in, and allowed it to reset.  It is going to take a few minutes so, I decide to take a shower, because with no power, they may cut the water too, so since I have water, better get a shower now while it is still ‘light’…

5:00 p.m. – working on trying to get my computer to recognize the modem for over an hour.  I stand at the bedroom window trying to pick up a connection…I can still hear fighting in the distance, probably ‘new york’, as UA military are trying to clear that separatists block post.   I hear the planes…the usual ‘motice operendi’ is that there is ground battle, then they call in the big guns and the planes finish them off.  So in the distance, I could hear the plane(s) getting ready to fire on the target.  I heard the usual BANG, and then all of a sudden I hear breaking glass and splitting wood.  I could tell, the house had been hit, and there I was standing at the window like a ‘sitting duck’!  I dropped to the floor and crawled over to the other side of the bed so that the bed frame and mattress could possibly protect me.  I lay there for about 7 minutes till the planes are gone, and then I got up to see what was hit.  The living room window frame was hit, and then I see that the shelving unit of the T.V. was hit.  I slowly opened the drawer and I could see the damage of the wood.  I followed the damage, pulling the drawer out, and there lay a bullet in the bottom of the cabinet!   Just 5 meters from where I was standing, and I had just come through there not 10 minutes before, and after showering.    I keep looking at the trajectory of that bullet…  God is amazing, as that would have hit me about thigh high, as I walked right though it’s path.  That gives me the chills!  I’m thanking God for divine protection.   I’m giving up on the internet for now, I’m mentally exhausted from the day, and just read and pray!

8 p.m.  still no electricity, but we do have water, so I can cook and eat and clean up, and prepare for a long night of no internet and no talking to family and NO charging phones, etc.  I call a family friend and ask him to send Rich a message about the ‘war and that I’m O.K..   Love to him. !! ‘    He gladly does this, and is concerned for me.  I assure him, that I’m as ‘fine as fine can be’, under the circumstances.    Though physically fine, mentally I’m shaken from the earlier bullet coming through the window; but I can’t let my family know this, they are 7000 miles away and can’t help me, so to tell them this, would just upset them more.  So I make all assurances that I’m ‘o.k.’ and that I’m fully prepared to leave, or do whatever I need to do. 

Tuesday – 7-22-14

WOW, what a night… booms throughout the night, but not on Dz. but in the distance;  no electricity, and my phone is almost dead.  Computer battery is almost gone too, so I’m being very careful.  Hoping power to be restored today.  

2 p.m.   POWER BACK<<<   yeah, don’t know for how long, so must recharge everything quickly.    Didn’t lose any food, as I never opened the frig. but once.  Now to work on internet…..nothing, but at least we have electricity……. The day is somewhat quiet, so I decide that I need to do some ‘house’ work, so the house needs painting, but scraping is first.  I spend the afternoon scraping paint from my house.  I’m sure when I die, I will probably glow in the dark from all the lead I have inhaled, as they use lead in their paint.  Since kids haven’t come to the center for a few days, I’m trying to stay busy.    Maintenance on 3 houses is a lot for one person, between the yards, external work, interior cleaning, it’s almost full time, and when something big needs to be done, like painting, tilling the garden for spring; it is only me that is going to do it.  I can’t rely on or expect the center director to do these jobs.  So I take this time to paint the little house and our house ‘trim’ work.

We have booms, usually at night…all night…night is not my friend, and I can’t sleep at all…very difficult.  Between the sounds and occasional flashes of light, it is impossible to sleep. 

7-23-14 a.m. still no internet….but we do have power, so that is good.  

Finally internet at the center only late in the day…can send a message to the family!!  Things are quiet here with only moments of machine gun fire, and intermittent, unexpected booms in the distance.    Yesterday I scraped the house, so needing to stay busy, I purchased the paint, and am preparing to paint the exterior of the my house, and window trim.  After scraping it last night, and now I’m fixing all the lose bricks and stones…I even went to the other house and fixed the foundation stone work!…but it will look great, I’m excited to start painting. 

For a visual image, here I am, the lone American in this town,  booms and bombs going off in the distance, and I’m up on a ladder painting my house!  I’m sure the neighbors think I’m crazy!!   And as a matter of fact, my neighbor does come out one time, yelling something at me between bombs.  I told her I was bored and needed to ‘do’ something; she laughed at me and returned inside. 

7-24-14 – A few years ago, we had a fire in our surii, which is somewhat like an outside storage house or room.  We housed aid and some tools in the house.  After the fire, we were able to salvage very little, but was able to retrieve a metal ladder, though the rubber ends had melted away.  That ladder was about the doom of me…while I was up 15 ft. painting the window encasement, the ladder shifted.  I wasn’t ready for that, it started to slide sideways down the house, but I was able to hold on, all while holding the paint!     One big scare…So back to praying in all things…so praying for safety to FINISH this job.  It looks really nice, so I can’t stop now.  My plan to complete this job today fell short, completing the front and back, but running out of paint for the side…more paint tomorrow….

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